Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To treat ingrown hairs, stop shaving, tweezing or waxing until the condition improves. If that's not possible, consider laser treatment, which removes the hair at a deeper level and inhibits regrowth.


Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to help manage your condition. They include:

  • Drugs that help remove dead skin cells. Retinoids applied to your skin, such as tretinoin (Renova, Retin-A, others), help with clearing dead cells from your skin (exfoliation). This can reduce the thickening and darkening of the skin that often occurs on dark skin prone to ingrown hairs.
  • Creams to reduce inflammation. Your doctor may suggest a steroid cream.
  • Creams or pills to control infection. For mild infections caused by scratching the affected area, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic ointment. For more severe infection, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.
March 13, 2015